“Grandpa. It’s been a while since I’ve been up here. I know I used to come every day. I’ve had… I’ve had to sort some things out.
“Grandpa, I’ve been remembering.
“Did you know, if anyone ever asked if I’d had a happy childhood, I always said yes?
“I thought I did. I had you. I had Baron.
“But, Grandpa, I pushed away all the hard times, pushed them until they fell out of memory. But they came back. Finally. They came back to me. Grandpa, I didn’t know you suffered.
“You used to say sorry. Remember that? When I’d come visit from college or from the city. You’d pour me coffee, we’d sit at the kitchen table, with a Beethoven symphony playing on the stereo, loud as we could have it and still talk over it, and you’d grow quiet and look at me and say, ‘Sorry, Katy.’
“I’d laugh, or ask what for. You’d shake your head. ‘Just sorry.’
“But, Grandpa, it’s not a matter of forgiveness. There’s nothing to forgive. You did your best. You had it hard, more so than me. You had it hard.
“I’m glad you asked me, in that dream, to stop working on your notebooks. I put them all away. I won’t even read them all. I believe you when you say they’re not to be shared.
“So, I’ve been working on your poems. Grandpa, you were a poet! I guess you knew that. I think, though, that you were a better poet than you were philosopher. I hope you don’t mind my saying that. Steinhart is still pissed! I guess he figured it would boost him up, with the department getting all that attention when your journals were published. And now! Now the poetry department gets the attention, and all he gets is the reflected glory. But Grandpa, it was the right decision.
“I don’t know how you found your way into my dream, but thank you. Editing these poems of yours feels like an important life work for me, Grandpa. It’s my dharma. You’re going to be one of the famous American poets.
“Do you mind that it’s happening now, after you’re gone?
“But you’re not gone, are you. You still come in dreams, on the breeze. I feel you now.
“Grandpa, I found the poems for WC. I know they’re not to be published! Don’t worry. But I want to share them with WC. I want to find WC and give them the poems you wrote for them. Remember when I promised I’d help you find the person you never told you loved, and then we didn’t have time?
“Grandpa, I want to do that now. That’s dharma, too. And for you, it’s karma. It will close your karma loop, so you’ll be free. Can I do that? Is it OK?
“I’m at a roadblock. Celeste helped me get your class lists, but they don’t do any good. There’s no WC on them.
“If you want me to continue–and, Grandpa, I so want to–then give me a sign. Help me get a breakthrough! Show me something–in a dream or in life! Some synchronicity!
“Can you do that, Grandpa? If you can, then I will keep searching. I’ll open every door until we find WC. And then the circle of your love will be closed.
“Would you like that, Grandfather?”
Prompt for May 18: “Write a story today in which the reader only hears one side of the conversation,” from StoryADay.org.
Author’s note: I guess I bent the prompt a bit–I read it last night, and then, during sleep, decided to write Kate’s conversation with her grandfather, so that’s what I thought about all day. I see now it doesn’t exactly fit because there only IS one side to this conversation. Oh, well! It’s not the first time I haven’t taken the prompts literally!